Alleged Car Thieves Add "Stolen" to Fake License Plate. "Not the Sharpest Tools in the Shed"
"Here we are with Episode 2 of ‘Mess Around and Find Out.'"
In a move so silly even the police are bemused, two men are suspected of carrying out a string of burglaries using a pickup truck that had a piece of cardboard saying "stolen tag" instead of an actual license plate. Anthony Sosa, 31, and Chad Doulette, 36, were arrested on January 5 and face multiple charges of grand theft and burglary. Here's how the two suspects were caught and what Brevard County law enforcement had to say.
The not-exactly-discreet pickup was spotted near several homes on Tropical Trail on Merritt Island, where a number of thefts occurred. According to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, some of the items stolen were a handgun and thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.
Local resident Mark Skwarvk said the neighborhood is not ideal for would-be robbers. "The affluence of the area would make it enticing, but it's just the one road in and out," Skwarvk said. "It's too easy to get caught."
Unsurprisingly, one of the homeowners noticed the pickup had a strange cardboard license plate with "stolen tag" written on it and reported it to deputies. The pickup was later spotted on Pineda Causeway in Melbourne and pulled over. "People who commit crimes like these are not the sharpest tools in the shed," Skwarvk told News 6.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office had plenty to say about the incident on their Facebook page. "I mean it's only the 5th day of the new year and here we are with Episode 2 of 'Mess Around and Find Out,' after two thugs decided to come to Brevard County and try to steal our citizens' stuff! This case happened after several residential burglaries occurred between Monday and Wednesday of this week, during which a significant number of items were stolen from our citizens, including firearms, jewelry, and personal documents!"
"Luckily, we had video from some of the residences that were targeted and were quickly able to see what the suspects looked like and that they were driving a very inconspicuous, lifted maroon in color Dodge RAM Truck with after-market wheels and a piece of cardboard with 'Stolen Tag' written on it!" the Sheriff's post continued. "During the more recent burglaries that occurred on Wednesday, several neighbors were able to provide a description of the vehicle, as they always partner with our agency to keep our community safe."
"As a result, Deputies spotted the suspect vehicle on the Pineda Causeway as the two perpetrators were attempting to make their escape onto I-95, but stopped just prior to the interstate, to replace the cardboard tag with the vehicle's real license plate," the post continued.
"Deputies quickly converged on the vehicle and took the driver into custody, while the passenger apparently thought he was in stealth mode and couldn't be seen trying to hide around the front of the truck. As you could see in the video, his little butt also got taken into custody by responding Deputies who apprehended him at the front of the vehicle."
It turns out both men were already in trouble for other crimes, according to the Sheriff's Office. "And while this is already a great 'Mess Around and Find Out' story, it actually gets even better as the passenger, Anthony Sosa of Lake Mary, was already out of jail on a $150,000 bond for armed burglary in another county, and the driver, Chad Doulette of The Villages, he was actually wearing an ankle monitor as the result of previous armed burglary charges!"